Before you @ me for overcomplicating breakups or being petty, I want you ask yourself a couple questions. Do you have an ex? Cool, picture that ex. Would you like to make said ex jealous? No? Stop lying/being some mythical, evolved person. Yes? Congratulations, you're not a robot and I applaud your honesty.
Chances are that if you have an ex, no matter how peaceful your parting of ways was, you're not diametrically opposed to making them a little bit jealous. If you're still cringing at the word "jealous," let's just say that you are maybe OK with your ex knowing how exceptionally well you are doing.
That said, you probably don't want your ex to know about your elaborate plan. So, here are 10 unexpected ways to make your ex jealous while still seeming like you don't care about them.
1. Post A Pic With A New Boo
Forget putting your bikini on the internet — the most important ingredients to put in your thirst trap are a faux-boo and a faux-candid pose.
You know that friend you told your ex not to worry about? Recruit him for an Instashoot the next time you're getting summer-buzzed together. Maybe you are looking into each others eyes and laughing. It will probably take 45 photos to nail it, but no one seeing the final result will be able to tell.
Caveat: Do not actually Instagram this photo. That's too obvious. Post your expertly filtered pic on your story. You don't want to accidentally confuse potential suitors.
Oh, and buy faux-boo a drink after the photoshoot as a sign of gratitude.
2. Update Your LinkedIn With Your Awesome New Gig
If after you reevaluated your relationship, you also reevaluated your career and finally took that promotion in San Francisco, you better put that sh*t on the internet.
I sound like my dad, but LinkedIn is a great tool/low-key way to let people know how successful you are. The site loves to notify the entire world on what you've been up to via email. Plus, it's less self-congratulatory than posting on Facebook.
You are now officially #adulting.
3. Go On A Really Sweet Vacation
I am jealous of anyone who is posting pictures from their travels. Strangers, celebrities, friends... travel brags inspire next level envy. Even in exes.
Maybe you can't afford the airfare to Thailand, but you can look into some local trips that will inspire your sense of adventure. Look at how fun you are, going on hikes and boats and all. There's no way you are thinking about your ex if you are having all of these wild adventures (even if you totally are and planned this trip to make them jealous).
Even better, go on that trip you always said you'd take together.
4. Don't Communicate With Them
I may be a sick person, but I always crave attention more from those who simply will not give it to me.
If you are not looking for a healthy relationship with your ex and just want to make them jealous AF, ignore them. No texts, no replies, no Snapchat story watching — nothing. They'll eventually get curious, especially if you're pretty regularly on the internet posting.
If you are still looking to make your ex jealous, you're not ready to open the lines of communication yet anyway. It's OK. Getting over someone takes time.
5. Unfollow Them, Then Like Their BFF's Photos
Unfollowing is the best way to get over someone, but staying in touch with their friends is that extra level of burn. You don't need to text your ex's BFF, but if you throw a like here or there, chances are they'll notice. (I. Am. A. Child.)
If an ex did this to me, I would go crazy. If you do this to an ex, it will drive them crazy.
This is a great tactic for making someone jealous who was not very fair or nice to you.
6. Be In Their City/Neighborhood And Don't Engage
This is especially helpful for exes who now live elsewhere. Next time you are in their neck of the woods, make it a point to be very clear via social media that you are in the vicinity, but in no way looking to meet up. And if they text? Give them radio silence.
Again, if you are still looking to make your ex jealous, you are in no way ready to have a friendship drink with them. Live your best life.
7. Look So Good In One Shameless Instagram
You get one of these per breakup. You've curated the faux-boo photo, but now you're at a wedding and feeling fly because the dress you are wearing is sexy and also classy. (It's a wedding, after all.)
This is when you get your friend who is an aspiring an Instagram influencer to help you out. Refrain from eye-rolling at her "techniques" and let her help you get the perfect "I'm happy and I know it" picture.
This (sadly) works like a charm. When you see an ex looking great, it's hard not to be jealous, ya dig?
8. Move On With Your Dating Life
No, don't post your outfit for every Bumble date you go on on the internet, but do get back out there. Exes have a sixth sense for when you are finally moving on. Plus, if you're meeting new potential boos all the time, you probably won't slip up and drunk text your ex. (That will mess up your game with your ex, always.)
Challenge yourself to one date, or three in the next month, or 50 as my therapist recently challenged me to. That getting back out there glow is key.
9. Do That Thing You've Been Talking About Forever
Whether it's trying a poke bowl, applying to law school, or even making a short film, do something that you have been talking about doing for years but simply haven't gotten to.
Again, you don't need to publicize your life choices for your ex to see, but the energy you're putting out there will reverberate. Even if you no longer connect on social media, somewhere down the line, your ex will see your big, brave life choices and think twice.
Bonus: Setting a goal for yourself will quickly become more important than making your ex jealous.
10. Ask Yourself What Would Make You Jealous
Yes, your ex getting engaged would make you jealous, but you're not going to race out and find a fiancé on demand.
I get jealous of an ex when they seem truly, deeply happy. Whether that is with a new person, or in a new job, or just because they are accomplishing life goals, I get jealous when my ex looks genuinely at peace with his life.
So forget the cute outfits and posed Instas — the only real way to make your ex jealous is to live your best life. As TLC said in their very prolific ballad "Unpretty": "You can buy all the makeup that MAC can make" but if you can't look inside yourself and actually be happy, your beauty will never be reflected back out to the world.
When you stop worrying about whether your ex is jealous or not is the moment at which you'll know you don't care about them anymore.
For now, indulge your id and make your ex jealous. There's no harm in a post or two highlighting your awesome life. More importantly, though, live that awesome life.